G.A.I.N. – powered by Lowe’s
Charlotte Networks, LPL Financial, Divergent IT and WSP volunteers delivered an O365 and SharePoint migration and training to Youth Development Initiatives (YDI) through Apparo’s G.A.I.N. program. As a result of this project, YDI anticipates increasing operating efficiencies, allowing them to serve students faster and increase time spent planning for program expansion.
Youth Development Initiatives (YDI) provides caring adult connections and life guidance to disadvantaged adolescent youth. YDI scholars engage in an individualized development process that combines project-based learning applications with real-world learning experiences to build critical life skills, career planning and post-secondary education preparedness. YDI strives to lead the way in ensuring ALL youth live in stable and caring communities where they receive meaningful educations, develop vital life skills and engage in essential social capital-building opportunities that ultimately result in successful futures.
Youth Development Initiatives has embarked on their next journey of G.A.I.N., an Apparo program generously sponsored by Lowe’s and EY. YDI partnered with a volunteer team from Charlotte Networks, LPL Financial and Divergent IT to assist in migrating the organization’s email to Microsoft Office 365, setup a basic SharePoint site, implement the file structure for storing documents and guide YDI in data clean up and migration of files from current storage sites to the new SharePoint site. Jon Shannon of WSP served as the Change Agent and facilitated the project.
The implementation of SharePoint and Office 365 will streamline and improve processes, increase storage capacity and allow staff more time to plan for expanding programs. As a part of this project, YDI has been able to convert their paper based client processes to online forms. The process can be cumbersome for students and parents and streamlining the processes has improved the client experience, reduced the timeframe between receiving a referral and onboarding the students and will likely increase the number of student enrollment packages that are completed. YDI President & CEO, Darryl Bego, shared, “Because of this project we will operate more effectively and efficiently in both enrolling and engaging students which is critical. Our kids are literally out there killing each other. We have the ability to change the graduation rate and the community violence rate, we can literally turn it on its head if we can operate at full capacity.” The new process will save over 150 hours of staff time and will allow YDI to expand their scope and reach areas that they previously couldn’t serve in a significant way due to operational system limitations.
By improving the referral and enrollment processes, YDI has the potential to receive more government funding which will allow them to serve more students and impact more lives. Bego shared, “Improvement in the referral and enrollment processes makes our programs more attractive to government funders because they can refer students faster and parents can easily navigate the enrollment process.”
As a result of this project, YDI will improve their capability to tell the story of their impact with the community. The SharePoint site has increased storage capacity for impactful photos and videos. In addition, online forms make the data much more accessible to create reports to share with the community and funders.
Bego was excited about the results of this project, sharing, “Apparo is a breath of fresh air and this team made such a difference in our organization. Without this project we would have been operating in an endless loop of ineffective and inefficient system that would have continued to clog our ability to better serve our existing clients and expand our services.”
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The volunteer team consisted of Cory Aurandt from Charlotte Networks, Kirk Windisch from LPL Financial and Matthew Galimi from Divergent IT. Jon Shannon from WSP facilitated the project. Together with Apparo, the team contributed 107 hours and delivered a project worth almost $21,000. The volunteers were excited to share about their experience on the project.
• “The work we’ve done with Youth Development Initiatives has been our most rewarding to date. We can all agree that providing resources for at risk youth is so important, and the opportunity to have a hand in that mission is a privilege.” Cory Aurandt, Charlotte Networks
• “Working with YDI on their SharePoint project was invigorating. It was a pleasure working with the team as they were so open and receptive to learning the new technology being provided.” Matthew Galimi, Divergent IT
• “I was extremely humbled to be able to deliver value for YDI as part of their SharePoint Migration. I would like to thank Darryl and his team for the positive engagement!” Kirk Windisch, LPL Financial